LAHAINA - For the past seven years, the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational has been an exciting annual tradition both in the art world and in the Maui community.
The 2012 event showcased Maui's spectacular beauty, captured by the finest plein air artists from the Mainland and Hawaii.
Held on Feb. 18-26, this year's invitational attracted more than 2,500 visitors and residents - many of whom have made this event an annual tradition.
Maui artist Carlton Kinkade captured “Best in Show” for his painting called “Shady Palm.” Photo by Linn Nishikawa.
Over 125 paintings were created by 25 professional artists, the majority of which were sold during the event week. A portion of the art sales will go toward art scholarships and programs here on Maui.
"The success of this year's event was directly attributed to the caliber of artists," said Lynn Shue, owner of The Village Galleries.
"Their paintings pay witness to Maui's history, capturing the beauty and lifestyle that makes our island home unique. Not only are these artists exceptionally talented individuals, but they also have a genuine aloha for our island."
This year's artists who secured top honors were Carleton Kinkade for "Best in Show," Ray Roberts for "Artist Choice Award," Colin Page for "The Irvine Museum Award," Billyo O'Donnell for "Pioneer Inn Quick Draw Award" and "Pacific'O Restaurant Award," Randall Sexton for "County of Maui Office of Economic Development/Hawaii Tourism Authority Award," Darrell Hill for the "Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Award," Josh Clare for "Kaanapali Land Management Corp. Award," Mark Brown for "Honor Hawaii, Honor Maui Award," and Mary Pettis, Pierre Bouret and Saim Caglayan, who received The Irvine Museum Honorable Mentions.
Maui and the event's organizers also scored high among the artists who participated.
"While I looked forward to the various events, what I enjoyed the most was the competition and meeting the other artists," said California artist Jove Wang, a first-time event participant.
"The scenery is so beautiful, the people are so nice, and I hope to be invited as a participant again."
Artist Mary Pettis from Minnesota said, "This place speaks to me. I love the rhythm of this place and the people who put this event together. I just hope that my work is worthy of the people who make this event a success year after year. They are my inspiration," she said.
"This event is very well organized with much aloha," said California artist Ken Auster, who has participated in this annual event for the last seven years. "I love Maui! I come for the fun, sun, surf, painting and friends."
This year's artists included George Allan, Ken Auster, Jacobus Baas, Pierre Bouret, Gavin Brooks, Mark Brown, Saim Caglayan, Mike Carroll, Josh Clare, Michael Clements, Betty Hay Freeland, Darrell Hill, Debra Huse, Carleton Kinkade, Ronaldo Macedo, Clark G. Mitchell, Billyo O'Donnell, Colin Page, Macario Pascual, Mary Pettis, Peggy Kroll Roberts, Ray Roberts, Randall Sexton, Jove Wang and Marty Wessler.
"The event could not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors and our Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational friends," said Rhonda Pang, the event's coordinator.